How to Appeal Amazon Suspension
Receiving an account suspension email could be potentially devastating to your online business. Although unforeseen circumstances and honest mistakes do lead to account suspension on rare occasions, this problem is oftentimes highly avoidable. This article from Business 2 Community offers some good tips on avoiding suspension -- which, the article also points out, is a bit more common than you might think.
If your company does have the misfortune of getting your account suspended, then reversing this suspension and getting reinstated as quickly as possible is likely the only thing on your mind right now! Don’t worry -- Amazon is always willing to listen to your suspension appeals, and in most cases, you can get back to selling within a short time period.
Let’s take a quick look at why accounts get suspended, and then move on to discuss the best recommendations for obtaining a successful reinstatement.
Understand the Rules Before Appealing Amazon Suspension!
Generally speaking, there are two common reasons why Amazon makes the move to suspend and active account: copyright problems, and downright dishonestly!
1. Brand Infringement
Infringement happens when a company writes an email stating that a particular Amazon store is selling a product without the brands permission. For example, if a brand is selling a legitimate Canon Camera without the permission of Canon, their e-commerce store will be very quickly taken down.
These days anyone can create a listing; the practice of policing infringement is meant to create an excellent experience for both buyer and seller. Amazon wants to make sure that the products are legitimate, and that that trademarks are only registered to the right seller. Since the development of Brand Registry 2.0, solidifying a trademark has become super easy. If a brand is attempting to sell a product that is trademarked with someone else, that account will be taken down.
2. Playing Dirty
When conversion rates and profits are at stake, Amazon sellers can sometimes act dishonestly. For example, some sellers hire “professional reviewers” to leave five-star ratings and glowing reviews. Needless to say, this is not recommendable. Amazon’s reputation depends on maintaining a high standard of quality for all their merchants, and the e-Commerce giant is pretty good at identifying “bought” reviews. This is not the only dirty trick that Amazon sellers get tempted to use -- but it is one of the most common. In fact, a number of major news outlets, such as National Public Radio, have run stories on this increasingly common phenomenon in recent months. With plenty of time-tested, completely legitimate tactics out there for boosting your credibility and growing your eCommerce audience, there’s no reason to risk a suspension.
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How to Get Your Amazon Suspended Account Reinstated
While some companies have gained their account back within 15 minutes others have been forced out of the game for several months. When this happens, the result is not pretty. Some companies have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue while their account was inaccessible. Here’s what you need to do in order to appeal Amazon suspension:
1. Demonstrate a Proactive Attitude
As you have probably guessed, gettings your Amazon suspended account reinstated requires formal appeal process. The results of this process will depend in large part on a) what rules you have violated, and b) how proactive you are about correcting your mistakes. However, following best practices for appealing Amazon suspension will also help.
2. Craft a Plan for Avoiding Rule Violations in the Future
The easiest way to convince Amazon to reinstate your account is to let them know that you have a definitive plan set in place so that your company does not make the same mistake twice. In his E-commerce Fuel podcast, Andrew Youdarian interviewed Cynthia Stein of eGrowthpartners.com. Stein was quoted as saying that she once reinstated an account for the same company on 5 separate occasions! The saving grace for this company was that each time, the account was taken for a different reason.
If your company makes the same mistake twice, they are not likely to get the account back. She went on to say that, throughout her career, she was only able to get one company reinstated after making the same infraction. And even that one company was an exception because their plan had not accounted for a very particular set of circumstances! Long story short, if your account has been suspended, make a plan and make it fast. Your reinstatement depends on sincere remorse and a plan to prevent this issue in the future.
3. Be Straightforward and Succinct.
At first, you may be inclined to send as much information as possible with your appeal. The problem with this idea is that Amazon is a huge organization that places tremendous value on efficiency. They tend to respond best to succinct statements that are easily scannable.
Amazon representatives are going through accounts as quickly. They want to see what the problem was, how you plan to fix it, and why it won’t ever happen again! The only exception is if there is a need to submit invoices -- in that case, providing adequate financial information is indeed crucial. Apart from that, keeping your story short and easy to read is a great way to meet Amazon's suspension lift checklist.
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Read more on the Listing Mirror blog for more info on getting the most out of your Amazon account!